Lenders relaxed access to loans for customers whose credit scores were subprime and in the lowest category of prime during the second quarter, according to auto origination figures from the New York Federal Reserve's "Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit."
Auto loan and lease originations combined totaled $155.6 billion in the quarter, up 2.9 percent from the second quarter of 2018, according to the report published Tuesday. A year ago, originations were up just 1.9 percent.
The increase pushed total U.S. auto debt to a record $1.3 trillion, up 4.8 percent from a year ago. It's an increase of 29percent vs. the second quarter of 2015, which was the first time auto debt exceeded $1 trillion.